HC Deb 13 February 1996 vol 271 cc791-2
5. Mr. Loyden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were transferred from the Royal Liverpool hospital to Broadgreen in the last six months. [13308]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. John Bowis)

Between 1 April and 31 December last year, the most recent period for which figures are available, the total was 483.

Mr. Loyden

Is the Minister aware that since the closure of Broadgreen's accident and emergency centre—against the wishes of community health councils and, indeed, of the local communities which fought a long battle to retain that particular facility—all patients now have to go to the Royal Liverpool hospital for assessment before they are moved on? That includes stroke patients and those with heart problems. They have to ride in an ambulance from one side of the city of Liverpool to the other which, as anyone with any common sense will agree, puts them at risk. That is especially true of the type of patients to whom I referred. Is it not a fact that the Minister and the Government do not know what is going on in the national health service? They have abrogated responsibility for accountability. When will they tell us why the chief executive would not answer a very simple question—[Interruption.]

Madam Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must resume his seat. This is not an Adjournment debate, but Question Time.

Mr. Bowis

If I am allowed to say something, perhaps I could calm the hon. Gentleman down. We do know what is going on. The hon. Gentleman talked about the 483 people who were transferred between the two hospitals which are, after all, in the same trust. Only two were A and E transfers; 238 were being transferred to the recently opened rehabilitation unit at Broadgreen. I thought that the hon. Gentleman might have welcomed that, as well as the fact that, as a result of recent investment, the Royal Liverpool hospital's A and E capacity has increased from 80,000 to 120,000 patients a year.